Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Still chipping away

BF and I ended up completely changing tracks, and are gearing up to run each other Eberron games. It's been slow going, as our ever-fluctuating work schedules mean we don't currently share off-days. When playing a solo game like this, it's very important that both people bring a lot of energy to the table: as a player there aren't other people around to help your PC or joke around with you so you are responsible for bringing your own entertainment, as a DM you need to be prepared to turn a throw-away NPC or description into something substantive on a moment's notice. It's very rewarding when it works out but obviously requires both people to really be in it, which can be difficult when one person has just come home from work and is expected to play despite being plain tired.

That said, I've managed to run the first session of my game already, and I'm eager to get another session in this week. My game is based off of Paizo's Kingmaker, though I really just pulled the exploration and kingdom building rules out and ran off with them. My game is set in the Eldeen Reaches, a vast forested country that broke away from its parent nation during the Last War. BF is playing a world-weary veteran of the Last War, coming to a newly formed settlement in the Reaches with the hope of settling down for a quiet life and building something he can be proud of. Of course, things can never be as simple as that... ;)

The first session was mostly meet-and-greet for the handful of NPCs he'll spend a lot of time interacting with, which I'll save for a different post. This next session finishes up the "prologue" as he deals with the violent Ashbound Druids, a sect that opposes civilization as a perversion of nature. I feel a bit guilty giving him an enemy that really can't be reasoned with (not my normal M.O. at all) but on the plus side, I get to run combat! I've got my outline prepped, and now I'm just working on filling the hexmap with interesting NPCs/locations/events.

BF is planning a noir/intrigue Dragonmark campaign. I'm slowly thinking up my PC, the artificer Ophelia d'Cannith, using her resources and skill at creating useful gadgets to help her solve mysteries and fight crime. She's like Batman, if Batman were a plucky 19-year-old girl. To give BF a good understanding of my character (differing expectations and assumptions have been a big problem in the past) I've been writing little snippets of story to help explain who Ophelia is, where she comes from, how she interacts with the world around her, and what her goals are. It's a bit more illuminating for BF than if I just handed him a bullet-point list, and it helps me get into my character's head-space better.

All in all, things are not perfect (are they ever?) but I'm still quite optimistic. We progress, bit by bit.

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